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Grow Your Business With These 6 Tech-Powered Trends

We are living in a tech-driven, digitally empowered world. New technologies are developed at a faster rate than ever before. Does anyone remember the old rotary dial phones? Within just one decade they were replaced by smartphones. Computers used to be the size of a room, now their power is compressed into one chip smaller than your fingertip.

The digital revolution took the business environment by storm and changed everything from product design to sales, marketing and hiring.

It used to be that being digital was a differentiator and a competitive advantage. Now we are fast approaching the moment when the digital playing field will eventually even out.

Accenture, What the post-digital era will look like

How will then companies differentiate themselves from the competition?

The answer is innovation, creativity and looking for the greater good.

Let’s explore 6 tech-powered trends which you can leverage to grow your business:

1. Customization & Personalization

FITS is an app which suggests clothing for men based on their music preference. The app was created by Eison Triple Thread, a menswear fashion company. The user logs into his Spotify account, allowing the app to access his listening data and pair music genres and favourite artists with styles. The user then looks through the suggested outfits, giving his feedback with likes and dislikes. This process ensures that the client’s suits properly reflect his personality as well as personal style. And because all the company’s menswear is made to measure, the user can further customize each product, like choosing colour pairings or materials.

Razor manufacturer Gillette gives consumers the power to create and order customized 3D printed razor handles, with the choice of 48 different designs, a variety of colours, and the option to add custom text.

Startup Unspun has partnered with Fit3D to enable customers to receive custom-fitted jeans after undergoing a 20-second body scan. The company is also developing a 3D weaving machine that will eliminate fabric waste during the production process.

2. Tapping into different industries

Thanks to technology, powerful brands like Microsoft, Google and Amazon are erasing the boundaries between industries.

Innovators themselves, these tech giants establish footholds in other industries through acquisitions. Amazon is going into the smart home market and the healthcare industry, Microsoft is tapping into the gaming industry and Google has taken an interest in the transport industry in India.

Learn more: Biggest Tech Acquisitions of 2018: Apple, Amazon, Google, Microsoft

3. Plastic Waste Recycling Revolution

Our world is currently fighting a silent enemy – plastic waste. One of the most important inventions of the 21st century, plastic is now a danger to our planet. Governments, brands and companies are now working to reduce plastic waste and find new ways to recycle it.

Plastic bags are a huge environmental problem in Africa. 98% of plastic waste in Ghana is dumped into a landfill (instead of recycled). Ghana company Nelplast found an innovative way to recycle the country’s plastic waste by turning it into roads.

Starbucks and McDonald’s led the creation of a $10 million challenge to create a fully recyclable and compostable coffee cup.

Adidas produced more than five million pairs of recycled plastic waste shoes in 2018, and they plan to incorporate the waste into at least 11 million this year.

4. Out-of-this-world experiences: AR & VR

Virtual experiences (AR, VR and more) are becoming as meaningful to consumers as those that happen in the real world.

In May 2019, Microsoft announced Minecraft Earth, a mobile AR version of the popular game. With a closed beta planned for Q3 2019, Minecraft Earth brings a Pokémon Go-style AR experience to Minecraft and allows players to build and place their creations in the physical environment around them via augmented reality. The app leverages Microsoft’s HoloLens and Azure Spatial Anchors technology.

An estimated 10 million gamers attended a live virtual concert inside online video game Fortnite in February this year. DJ Marshmello took to the stage and delivered what felt like “a glimpse into the future of interactive entertainment, where the worlds of gaming, music, and celebrity combined to create a virtual experience we’ve never quite seen before.”

There’s a common belief that such experiences are created exclusively for and enjoyed by Millennials. Well, Abba changes that.

The Swedish group who achieved global fame in the seventies are now preparing for an upcoming digital show. The event will feature ‘Abbatars’ (like the one we’ve seen in the Miley Cyrus Black Mirror episode) which will represent the four members of the group. Björn Ulvaeus said that the two-hour show will be broadcast in the UK and simulcast across the world.

 

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❤️ #abbaofficial #abba

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5. AI to the next level

AI is the latest most important technology development. Many fear AI will be the end of humankind while others see it as the biggest shift in our evolution as a species. Will we integrate AI in our biological brain? Yuval Noah Harari supports this hypothesis. Until that moment, here is how AI helps us right now.

Chester, the AI-based radiology assistant is a web-based system for diagnosing chest X-ray images. It’s a free tool which allows users to upload an X-ray within their web browser to receive a diagnosis on 14 diseases, such as pneumonia and emphysema with 80% accuracy.

Just as Game of Thrones Arya “kills” her enemies, so too Arya, the recruiting tool helps you eliminate the most common problems related to recruiting. The tool identifies top talent faster than the competition, engages automatically with personalized messaging, builds high-quality candidate pipelines that are ready to move and tracks successful hires and instantaneously searches similar candidates.

Ginger.io is an app which offers professional coaching services to support employees’ emotional wellness. It is a behavioural analytics platform which turns mobile data into health insights and its AI technology helps the app’s clinical team reach out at times that are most helpful.

Learn more about Ginger.io: This app supports your employees’ emotional wellness

6. Innovative solutions to solve social problems

In recent years, brands have leveraged the power of advertising campaigns to put the spotlight on various societal problems. If successful, such actions attract media attention, brand love and a lift in sales.

Learn more: P&G, Barbie, Gillette are challenging gender stereotyping

Customers are now expecting brands to go to the next level: solve the problems, not just tout about them.

A British doctor, Almas Ahmed, has created the world’s first range of makeup that will resist acid attacks. Unveiled at the Leeds International Festival on May 7th, the makeup works as a barrier on the skin, effectively repelling acid. The makeup range took ten years to develop and it will be available in 2020, starting in regions with the highest incidence of acid attacks including India, the Middle East, and the UK.

makeup-acid-attack

Dr Almas Ahmed and her invention / metro.co.uk

Imagine the scale of media attention this product would have received had it been created by one of the giant beauty brands.

Wrap up

  • Customize and personalize your products/services;
  • Is your brand powerful enough to expand to other industries?
  • Joining the No Plastic global movement is an opportunity for innovation;
  • Do you offer amazing experiences to your customers?
  • Leverage AI-based tech to support your customers achieve their goals;
  • Create products to solve social issues.

sources: Trendwatching.com and BRAND MINDS blog

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3 Brilliant Initiatives To Celebrate #WorldOceansDay

The scale of ocean pollution mankind is facing today is massive: 9 million tons of plastic end up in the ocean every year.

To mark #WorldOceansDay, here are 3 initiatives which raise awareness on this problem.

1. National Geographic – Planet or Plastic?

In 2018, National Geographic launched a global initiative focused on raising awareness on ocean plastic pollution and its disastrous effects on marine life and ecosystem: the Planet or Plastic campaign.

The renowned magazine dedicated its June issue in its entirety to the Planet or Plastic campaign and also leveraged its digital channels to gain traction and earn media attention.

Planet or Plastic from Agency Cases on Vimeo.

Campaign results:

  • #PlanetorPlastic was shared over 1,000,000 times, within the first week;
  • +8 billion views in online readership;
  • Celebrities and influencers jumped in on the action, amplifying the message, and contributing to the conversation;
  • People started to reconsider their choices;
  • 400+ companies have changed their policies, regarding single-use plastics;
  • +200,000,000 pieces of plastic have been prevented from entering the ocean;
  • The US Senate assembled to address the issue of man-made trash polluting the ocean.

The Planet or Plastic campaign won People’s Voice at 2019 Webby for Good Awards.

2. The Plastic Oceans Foundation & LAD Bible – Trash Isles

There is a huge amount of plastic trash polluting our oceans. In fact, an area of trash the size of France has formed in the Pacific ocean. So why not turn this area into an official country?

To get the attention of the United Nations and the public on the problem of plastic pollution, the Plastic Oceans Foundation and LAD Bible teamed up and devised a PR campaign entitled Trash Isles.

In 2017, on World Oceans Day, the Plastic Oceans Foundation and LadBible submitted an application to the United Nations to recognise Trash Isles as an official country. Because if it is recognised as an official country, then other countries are obliged to help clean it up.

Campaign results:

  • 200,000+ citizens of Trash Isles;
  • 50 million video views;
  • 500 million people reached;
  • Judi Dench, Al Gore, Sir David Attenborough took on the roles of Trash Isles ambassadors.

The Trash Isles campaign won Grand Prix at the 2018 Cannes Lions awards.

3. EcoAlf Foundation – Upcycling the Oceans

Upcycling the Oceans is the ambitious project of EcoAlf Foundation, set up by Javier Goyeneche, founder of EcoAlf, a Spanish company which turns plastic sea waste into high-quality fashion products. Their slogan is Because There Is No Planet B.

Read my interview with Javier Goyeneche.

Upcycling the Oceans project (UTO) collects the trash that is destroying our oceans and turns it into top quality yarn to produce fabrics and products.

The project started in September 2015 in the Mediterranean Coast of Levante (Spain). To date, more than 200 tons/year of marine debris has been recovered from the bottom of the Mediterranean sea.

In 2016, the Ecoalf Foundation started the Upcycling the Oceans project in Thailand and is planning to expand worldwide.

Project results:

  • one sweatshirt alone saves 6200 litres of water;
  • zero waste design;
  • 380 tons of marine debris recovered;
  • sustainable fashion: EcoAlf created Sea Yarn, a new 100% recycled filament which is made of the plastic bottle collection found at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea;
  • More than 120 million plastic bottles recycled so far;
  • 28% reduction of greenhouse gases emissions;
  • Production of 1000 kg of fabric saves the equivalent of 955 kg of crude oil.

Read my interview with Javier Goyeneche.

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Javier Goyeneche (ECOALF) – Turning Plastic Sea Waste Into Fashion

brand_minds_2019_javier_goyeneche-min

Javier Goyeneche is the founder of ECOALF, the Spanish company which turns plastic sea waste into high-quality fashion products.

ECOALF is a fashion company that created a new 100% recycled filament, Sea Yarn, which is made of the plastic bottle collection found in the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea.

The sea yarn is further used to create high-quality fabrics which ECOALF turns into a new generation of sustainable products.

Through this process, one sweatshirt alone saves 6200 litres of water. ECOALF designs and makes fashion clothes, footwear and accessories for women, men and children.

Javier_Goyeneche

Javier Goyeneche, founder of ECOALF/linkedin.com

Javier Goyeneche’s commitment to put an end to the endless pollution of the environment prompted him to take the next step: setting up the ECOALF Foundation.

The mission of the ECOALF Foundation is to upcycle the oceans of our planet. The foundation is currently running two projects: Upcycling the oceans in Spain and Thailand.

The project in Spain started in 2015 and involved 28 ports amounting to a total of 441 sea trawlers and over 4000 fishermen. To date, more than 200 tonnes/year of marine debris has been recovered from the bottom of the Mediterranean sea.

In 2016, the Ecoalf Foundation started the Upcycling the Oceans project in Thailand. According to statistics, 8 million tonnes of trash end up in the oceans every year. 60% comes from a range of Asian countries. This project promotes the collection and management of plastic waste in Thailand’s coastal and marine tourist areas. Project activities include scuba divers collecting plastic waste from underwater as well as other volunteers collecting plastic waste from beaches.

javier_goyeneche_upcycling-min

mundotextilmag.com.ar

I was interested to know more about Javier Goyeneche’s mission to produce high-quality fashion and cleaning the oceans of plastic waste at the same time so I asked him the following questions:

1. What is the story behind Ecoalf? How did it all start?

The concept ECOALF was born in 2010 after the birth of my son, Alfredo (the company is named after him).
At that time I was reflecting upon the world we leave to the next generation and felt frustrated with the excessive use of the World’s natural resources.

I decided to create a fashion brand that is truly sustainable. I thought the most sustainable thing was to stop using our natural resources in a careless way.

2. As a champion of sustainability, name a few of the challenges that you were faced with while building your company.

Uff, there have been many. In terms of clients, the concept of recycling is for many of them something negative and synonym of bad quality. They seem to think we recycle the old blanket of the grandmother to make a backpack. I have and spend a lot of time and energy trying to prove that ECOALF is about innovation + design.

Also, my goal was to create a sustainable brand where the price would be affordable (unfortunately most sustainable products are expensive).

In terms of production, we are constantly facing challenges. Trying to be as sustainable as possible is not easy and requires huge and constant effort.

3. Which was harder: to change technologies or people’s minds?

Through investment and patience, we have proved we were able to do many things they told me wouldn’t be possible.

Changing peoples minds is a constant effort. Unfortunately, our actual fashion model with t-shirts at 3 euros is not sustainable and is creating a huge negative impact on our planet. People want to be sustainable but don’t want to change their habits.

Read our previous Success Stories about travelling gamification, building the homes of the future, and creating custom software. 

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